In a survey conducted before Bing launched, Google was the most satisfying search engine, according to Search Engine Land. The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) E-Business report, conducted by the University of Michigan, is funded by Foresee Results.
Out of a perfect 100, Google scored 86 on the satisfaction index, scored on several criteria about the search experience. Interestingly, that’s identical to its score last year. In fact, none of the three major search engines changed YOY—Yahoo held steady at 77 and MSN stayed at 75.
From 2006 to 2007, Google fell a little in satisfaction (falling behind Yahoo, even). But the ACSI says they foreshadow (or reflect?) trends in usage:
[The ACSI] is a predictor of future success on both the micro and macro level. Google’s huge 10 point jump in satisfaction from 2007 to 2008 preceded a 7% increase in search market share from 2008 to 2009. Satisfaction with Yahoo, on the other hand, dropped 2.5% from 2007 to 2008, preceding a 17.5% decrease in search market share and a 5% drop in portal market share.
Over at SEL, Greg Sterling accurately points out that satisfaction isn’t correlated with search engine share. Also important to note is that brand perception and brand loyalty can also really affect searchers’ perceptions of an engine. Remember back in 2007 when a study showed that people chose Google and Yahoo as the most relevant SERPs—even when the results were exactly the same and the logo was the only thing that changed?
What do you think? Are people really more satisfied by Google, or are we all just programmed to think that way? Where do you think Bing will fall next year?